Where is the Serratus Anterior Muscle or Boxer's Muscle Located and What is its Function?
Serratus Anterior Muscle lies between the lateral surface of the ribs and inside of the scapula. The main function of this muscle is to facilitate movements of the hands in horizontal direction like when pushing or pulling items. This muscle is also known by the name of Boxer's Muscle as this is the muscle used when punching during a boxing game. Any sort of weakness to this muscle ultimately affects the whole motion of the shoulder. Thus it is important to keep this muscle string and healthy. These muscles are sometimes also called wings of the body as they allow the hands to flap like wings. They also help in protecting ourselves from any harmful insect or anything thrown at us. These muscles also help in breathing. These muscles stem from the ribs and go into the scapula. These muscles stabilize the shoulder blades and when these muscles are flexed they help the ribs to expand and thus help with breathing.
Exercises to Strengthen the Serratus Anterior Muscles
It is now known that why it is important to keep the serratus muscles healthy and stable as any weakness of this muscle will affect the motion of the shoulder on the whole. Below mentioned are some simple exercises which can be done to keep the serratus muscle healthy and stable.
To begin with, first place the hands on the ribcage and take a deep breath. Try and feel the ribs expanding and contracting with each breath. Now, begin the exercises.
Wall Press Exercises to Stretch Serratus Anterior Muscles: To do this exercise, stand at an arm's length from a wall and place the hands on the wall at shoulder height. Now, lean forward without bending the arms and the waist towards the wall such that the shoulder blades come close to the spine. With this exercise, you actually stretch the Serratus Muscle.
Floor Presses to Strengthen the Serratus Anterior Muscle: For this exercise, sit on the floor cross legged. Now, place the palms on the floor without bending the hands. Now, try and push the body up away from the ground such that your body weight is entirely on your palms. This will stretch the serratus anterior muscle. At first you may not be able to move much but with continuous practice the distance will gradually increase and the stretch will also increase and with time you will be able to move the feet in the air such that the torso is suspended in the air.
Incline Press Exercise to Strengthen the Serratus Anterior Muscle: This exercise can be done using dumbbells so that the serratus muscles are strengthened. The muscles that are strengthened along with the serratus anterior muscles are the pectoralis major, anterior deltoids and triceps. To do this exercise, sit on a bench which is inclined at an angle of approximately 40 degrees. Now, press the back into the backrest and hold the dumbbells with both hands and keep them at a shoulder's width. Lower the dumbbells to the chest and then take them up vertically away from the chest.
Dumbbell Pullover Exercise to Strengthen the Serratus Anterior Muscle: These exercises strengthen muscles like pectoralis, triceps, latissimus, and rhomboids along with the serratus anterior muscles. These exercises also help with smooth expansion of the ribcage thus facilitating comfortable breathing. To do this exercise, lie on an exercise bench with the knees bent and the feet flat. Hold dumbbells on both hands. Start with the arms extended vertically above the chest. Now, slowly lower the dumbbell to move it behind your head just slightly bending the elbows. Now, contract the back and chest and come back to the normal position.
Supine Medicine Ball Chest Throw Exercise for Strengthening the Serratus Anterior Muscle: This exercise stretches the serratus anterior muscles along with shoulder muscles, muscles of the arms, abdomen, and the chest region. This exercise is helpful for those athletes who are in sports involving pushing and pulling movements. This is a form of exercise which needs supervision from an experienced trainer. Lie on the floor. Bend the knees and place the feet flat on the floor and extend the arms above the chest. Now, ask the trainer take a medicine ball and place it directly on the outstretched hands. Hold the ball and allow it to fall gently on your chest with your hands acting as a resistance thus controlling the speed with which the ball falls. Once reached, push the ball again to the trainer and repeat the same exercise. This exercise can also be done without a trainer to help you out as long as you are able to throw the ball with up above your chest and hold it back yourself.
These were some of the exercises which help in strengthening the Serratus Anterior Muscles.